Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

This site is archival. Please visit for up-to-date content.

MU Provost Names Rikoon Dean of Human Environmental Sciences

Rikoon, leading the college for the past 15 months, has exemplary record of teaching and research

March 9th, 2017

Story Contact: Sheena Rice, 573-882-8353,

University of Missouri Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Garnett S. Stokes announced today that J. Sanford “Sandy” Rikoon, Curators Professor of Rural Sociology at MU, has been named dean of the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, effective immediately. Rikoon had been serving as interim dean of the college since August 2015.

“We are excited that Sandy will be continuing to lead the College of Human Environmental Sciences,” Stokes said. “As a renowned researcher and educator with comprehensive knowledge in food security, political ecology and environmental sociology, as well as a passion for mentoring students, faculty and staff, he is the perfect fit to lead the College of Human Environmental Sciences at Mizzou.”

Rikoon joined the faculty at MU in 1987 in the Department of Rural Sociology in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. He received his doctorate in ethnography and American studies from Indiana University in 1986. Rikoon served HES as the associate dean for research and graduate studies for six years. In 2004, Rikoon led the effort to establish the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, the first center of its kind to combine national research, training and outreach in the field of food security. He continues to serve as its director.

“I’m honored to have been chosen to continue leading the College of Human Environmental Sciences as dean,” Rikoon said. “For the past seven years, I have come to know the faculty, staff, students and other partners involved with the college and found everyone to be committed to making a difference in the things most basic to people’s lives—food, clothing, buildings, finances, health, family and community—by conducting advanced research, preparing future professionals and providing critical outreach across the state. The College of Human Environmental Sciences has a long history of excellence and a very promising future in all of the university’s missions.”

Rikoon has received several awards and fellowships, including the Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Fellowship (2013); the Vice Chancellor’s Award of Distinguished Faculty in CAFNR (2012); and the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence (2002).

“Dr. Rikoon’s leadership style is student-centric and faculty-focused,” Stokes said. “He understands how research within the college enhances people’s lives. We’re excited he will be continuing to lead the College of Human Environmental Sciences, which is poised to enter the next level of research innovation and academic leadership at the University of Missouri.”

A window to the world for more than 115 years and deeply rooted in the land-grant mission of the University of Missouri, the College of Human Environmental Sciences has award-winning faculty renowned throughout the state, nation and world for their expertise. The college includes six disciplines and more than 1,800 students.